Hijack Season 1 Episode 5 Recap – What are the terrorists’ demands?

By Adam Lock
Published: July 19, 2023 (Last updated: July 26, 2023)
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Apple TV+ series Hijack Season 1 Episode 5 Recap


“Less Than an Hour” continues to mount further tension as another one of Sam’s plans backfires badly. There’s also room to explore more of the criminals’ backstories, which adds another layer of suspense to the proceedings.

We recap the Apple TV+ series Hijack Season 1 Episode 5, “Less Than an Hour,” which contains spoilers.

Sam Nelson (Idris Elba) has spent the majority of the series trying to save himself and the other passengers with ever more complicated plans.

But in “Less Than an Hour,” he puts forward his riskiest scheme yet, as they use one of the terrorist’s injuries against them. Meanwhile, the government weighs up the hijacker’s demands back in London.

Hijack Season 1 Episode 5 Recap

The leader of the hijackers, Stuart Atterton, checks up on his brother Lewis’ health. The onboard doctor says that Lewis is stable, but it is obvious that his condition is only worsening.

Stuart is happy with the doctor’s analysis, though, and gets back to work. Sam is then dragged back to his seat. He informs Hugo that he has another plan. And this one might work.

What are the terrorists’ demands?

On the ground, the Home Secretary hands over the terrorists’ demands to the Foreign Secretary. The terrorists want the two leaders of their crime organization, Edgar Janssen and John Bailey-Brown, to be released from prison before the plane lands. If they don’t comply, then all 216 souls aboard the flight will be killed.

The Home Secretary doesn’t want to negotiate with these terrorists and urges the team to find out if the criminals would even consider going through with their threats.

In the meantime, DI Daniel is tasked with interrogating the terrorists’ mother, Elaine Atterton.

Who are the criminals working for?

From their research, the team discover that this organized crime group is called the Cheapside Firm. They are involved in the international drug trade, as well as sex trafficking and the sale of illegal weaponry. Their leaders are both serving 35-year prison sentences.

Back on the plane, Sam starts to unveil his plan. He tells Hugo that Stuart and Lewis are brothers, and Sam wants to use this knowledge to his advantage. He speaks with Stuart again, pressuring him to land the plane. Sam states that Lewis needs serious medical attention now, or he will die within the hour.

Stuart doesn’t believe Sam, trusting the doctor’s diagnosis instead. Sam promises that the doctor is only telling him what he wants to hear though.

Stuart threatens to kill more passengers if Sam is lying. As he heads down to the back of the plane, Sam relays a message to the doctor.

The doctor receives this message and tells Stuart that Lewis only has an hour left. Stuart now has a choice to make, land the plane and save his brother or carry on with the mission.

Of course, Stuart wants to save his brother’s life, but the other hijackers are wary of this plan.

Why does Anna talk to the Hungarians?

Ignoring his fellow terrorists, Stuart takes control. He speaks with the Captain and the co-pilot Anna Kovacs. Because Anna speaks Hungarian, Sam suggests that she speaks with Air Traffic Control instead of the Captain. This will allow them to warn Hungary without the hijackers knowing.

Anna heads into the cockpit and speaks with the Hungarians. She secretly indicates that the hijacking is still ongoing; they are planning an unscheduled landing.

The terrorists are suspicious, but Anna successfully lies her way through the ordeal. They start their final descent.

Meanwhile, in London, Daniel meets with Elaine. She’s cagey at first but eventually opens up, explaining that the Firm is ruthless; they will kill anyone and everyone involved without hesitation.

Zahra wants Elaine as a hostage, but the mother does a runner instead. She walks out into oncoming traffic on the motorway, choosing to commit suicide rather than face the criminals’ wrath.

The Hungarian military gets into position for the landing. The UK government is also informed of this latest development.

As the plane begins to descend, the hijackers argue among themselves. The older hijacker, Marcus (aka Terry), panics and orders the doctor to convince Stuart not to land.

During all the chaos, he informs Sam that the Firm will kill everyone and their families if the plan is not followed to the letter. Sam is now frightened his family is in danger.

Hijack Season 1 Episode 5 Ending Explained

Terry even admits that he was once hired by the organization to kill Stuart and Lewis’ father. If he refused, then he would have been killed too. They are a ruthless organization. They have all of Sam’s details.

That is all Sam needs to hear. He orders them to abort the landing. Stuart is clearly against this plan and asks why the sudden change of heart. Sam says that Lewis doesn’t want to land either.

When they visit him at the back of the plane, he has removed the pen and appears to be lifeless on the floor. Did Lewis commit suicide, or did they only make it look that way to save themselves?

The episode ends with the terrorists breaking into Sam’s home in London. These cleaners are armed; they head upstairs, where Sam’s son Kai is hiding.

What did you think of the Apple TV+ series Hijack Season 1 Episode 5? Comment below.

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